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November 7, 2012 6:53 AM   Subscribe

Some friends who supported Romney are so displeased with the election results that they are now threatening to move to Canada or Australia for the next four years. Okay. Would their experiences living as American citizens in those countries in reality align more closely with their conservative ideals? How 'bout if they became citizens? What's the best response to these people?

Specifically, they are fiscally conservative, socially conservative Christians with kids. One partner has major health issues. Pro-NRA.
posted by mochapickle to Law & Government (76 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Slate's got you covered.
posted by dortmunder at 6:57 AM on November 7, 2012


Well, this image has been making the rounds this morning. Your friends are utterly deluded, and would find Canada and Australia to be more "socialist" than the Democratic Party's wildest dreams.
posted by theodolite at 6:58 AM on November 7, 2012 [51 favorites]


Oh, I twinged as I hit post! To clarify, I'm not actually planning on saying anything. I just want the best hypothetical response to repeat to myself in my inside voice while I read their FB posts. I'm no instigator.
posted by mochapickle at 6:59 AM on November 7, 2012


There is always the Seasteading Fantasy Island that Libertarians keep threatening to create. Maybe now they will have further impetus to build this place.
posted by JJ86 at 7:03 AM on November 7, 2012


Here is their official website.
posted by JJ86 at 7:04 AM on November 7, 2012


Canada isn't much "better". People who consider Obama socialist would certainly feel they'd been dipped in honey and tossed to the communists there.

Besides, what makes them think Australia or Canada would have them? If they want a conservative Christian regime, perhaps they should try somewhere in South America?
posted by ubiquity at 7:05 AM on November 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Australia has an unmarried, Atheist leader in Julia Gillard.
Universal Healthcare.
Gun control.
Abortion.
Evolution is taught in all schools.

In a phrase, they'd hate it.
posted by the_epicurean at 7:06 AM on November 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Tell them to read up a bit on Canada. Seriously, they are nuts if they think they are going to find more people like themselves here. I'm from Canada, and in a "back woods", pro-religion, rural area that is probably considered quite conservative by Canadian standards. I haven't heard a single person say anything aside from "Thank God" in regards to Obama getting re-elected.

I guarantee you that your friends would be even LESS happy with the political standpoint. Our most radically conservative opinions are probably closer to the American democratic opinions.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:07 AM on November 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Obama would fit just fine in our Conservative party, as a point of reference. In social policy terms, he's somewhat to the right of our current PM, whom many regard as scarily rightist.

Gay rights, Abortion rights are settled issues in Canada, and have been for long enough that to challenge them is political suicide. Guns and drugs are sort of in play as issues, but aren't the dog whistles they are in the US. Immigration is viewed as an unalloyed good. We worry more about how to do it right, about making sure that qualified immigrants can work and not drive cabs. Racial issues are constructed fairly differently here---chinese is our biggest ethnic minority. Ethnic politics would feel very different to an American immigrant.
posted by bonehead at 7:07 AM on November 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


Yeah, our right wing is on a par, more or less, with your left wing. Canada *already has* government paid health care which pays for abortions, and higher taxes, and gay marriage.
posted by jeather at 7:09 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The mountains of Pakistan would seem right at home, actually. Guns, religious fervor, no women's rights, male dominated authoritarian culture, it has everything.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:10 AM on November 7, 2012 [97 favorites]


I don't understand why they would possibly think either country would suit them better. Can you explain more about what they're saying? Are they claiming the US is now going to stop functioning in some major way, rather than feeling they're not politically at home?
posted by crabintheocean at 7:11 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bet them money that they won't move, then cash in.
posted by devnull at 7:12 AM on November 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


They're either ignorant or trolling you. No actual Romney supporter could make those suggestions seriously. Unless they were being sent to run a country office for a consulting firm.
posted by GuyZero at 7:14 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I remember hearing the "I'm going to move to Canada" thing in past elections, but that was when Bush was elected. They wanted to come here because Bush was too conservative and right wing. Moving here because they are unhappy with their elected Democrat is just idiotic and laughable. It is like saying "This sauna is too hot! I'm going to run in to that volcano to cool off!".

If they don't like what Obama is doing, coming here would make their brains asplode.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 7:17 AM on November 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


>>I just want the best hypothetical response to repeat to myself in my inside voice while I read their FB posts.

Not hypothetical, but I've found the thing that really eases my consternation at weird Facebook posts is using the 'hide post' function. It makes my whole day better.

As far as a mental response, I think "Sounds good!" covers it.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:18 AM on November 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


My former co-worker is threatening to move back here to Korea, to escape the socialist evils at home. We have government healthcare here, but the disparity of enjoying it, while railing against Obamacare never bothered him when he was here.

I don't think there's anything you CAN say to these friends of yours. IF they do move, they may not actually *see* the new place they are living. It'll likely blow over in a month or so, or at least cool down to an avoidable level.
posted by nile_red at 7:18 AM on November 7, 2012


Okay.

Hey, I think you already had it! "Okay" is perfectly good.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:19 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a Canadian who, like many, follows American politics I think the "moving to Canada" threat is pretty amusing.

The government provides universal health insurance, gay marriage is recognized nationally, recreational marijuana use isn't a federal offense. Canada also has tighter gun control than America does and abortion is entirely legalized.

All this and we're currently under a PM who belongs to the Conservative party.

So, I imagine if they were citizens - they would be giving a lot more of their money to the government and receiving subsidized health care for almost free. It would be a lot more difficult for them to get permits for firearms and I've personally never seen a place to actually purchase guns (though my city's only about 60k-strong), so if they're gun fans that might be hard to keep up.

They would probably be able to find people who shared their religious affiliation on a personal level and perhaps even a lot of their convictions, but in the political arena it'd be hard to find someone openly campaigning with views as far right as Romney has. As an example, I live in one of the more conservative areas in the country and the year before last our city's conservative-party mayor marched in the local gay pride parade in a show of support.
posted by one of these days at 7:19 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


(Oh - and that's all hypothetical, of course! As far as an actual response goes, I would suggest Do Not Engage.)
posted by one of these days at 7:21 AM on November 7, 2012


Gay rights, Abortion rights are settled issues in Canada, and have been for long enough that to challenge them is political suicide.

That's not quite true -- abortion is unavailable in PEI, for example, and it's not like they don't have hospitals.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:28 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would recommend Japan, to which I often dream of returning. There is single-payer healthcare and strict gun control, but there are other social benefits to offset it. Unfettered immigration is not seen a moral good (quite the opposite), heterosexual marriage is codified in the constitution, and there is a firm emphasis on law and order.

I'd make that deal. Damn good deal.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:29 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


No offense to your friends but when I search twitter for moving to New Zealand, a few of the comments were explicitly about race and crime.
NZ, AU, and Canada have one big distinction that I think appeals to a subset of conservatives threatening to go there, a low black population.
posted by mulligan at 7:29 AM on November 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Harper - hated as a crazy right wing nutter by lefties like me in Canada - holds policies that are largely indistinguishable from Obama's. Obama is liberal by American standards only, and would be considered (at best) a centre-rightist in the rest of the world. If Harper proposed something like Obama's approach to healthcare, there'd be a revolt in Canada and he'd be decried as being in the pocket of the insurance industry and lacking all sensitivity to the poor.

Canada has - universal health care, nationwide same-sex marriage, higher personal and sales taxes, stricter gun control laws, abortion rights, constitutionally-mandated bilingualism, no death penalty, less consumer choice across the board.

The rest of the world got on board with the Obama train because a) of his inspiring personal story and symbolic importance of being a black president in a nation built on slavery, and b) HE CAME AFTER BUSH.

tl;dr your friends have no fucking clue what they are talking about.
posted by modernnomad at 7:41 AM on November 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think some people are genuinely worried that the US is going to become financially or socially unstable and see Australia or Canada as being more stable.
posted by mskyle at 7:45 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canada has a lower unemployment rate, and a lower debt per capita than the US. Taxes might be higher (depending on your individual circumstances - there are plenty of tax deductions available to bring the marginal rates well down from the posted rates, without resorting to tax shelters or things available for the wealthy only), but your primary health care is paid for (and many employers offer very nice supplementary health care coverage to cover prescriptions/massage/physio etc.) Canada also has a lower corporate tax rate.

A fiscal conservative might not mind a lot of the economic factors in Canada - although if there is a change in government (as there very well could be next election), and the opposition NDP comes into power - a lot of those economic benefits will likely vanish (with a resulting increase in social programs and public spending).

Harper and Obama are very similar - as much as the left in Canada tries to paint Harper as a Republican. If the NDP took power - that would likely make all but the most left-wing Democrats that fled up here hope they could still find a job in the USA.
posted by PGWG at 7:45 AM on November 7, 2012


As a liberal in America I could see the merits of moving to Canada after an Obama win.

As a conservative? Not so much.

They are sad, angry and frustrated. But +48% of the country agrees with them.

It will fade in time as they realize the Kang and Kodos election we just went through.
posted by French Fry at 7:47 AM on November 7, 2012


What's the best response to these people?

Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:51 AM on November 7, 2012 [16 favorites]


they are now threatening to move to Canada or Australia for the next four years.

This literally makes no sense. America's LIBERAL politics is still far to the right of other western countries: Canada, Australia, NZ, the UK, Ireland all embody exactly what conservatives fear -- social safety nets, socialised healthcare, gay unions of at least some favour. Outside of Ireland, also abortion.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:51 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


This debate was stupid when Bush won, and it's stupid now.

Want to move to Canada? Great, what's your plan, specifically? Show them Canada's immigration info page. They, like most countries, don't let you just "move" there- you need a job, a close relative, or a ton of money.

Are these friends of yours also inclined to complain about job-stealing illegal aliens? Because that's exactly what they're talking about becoming.
posted by mkultra at 7:54 AM on November 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


They might find some semi-conservative kin between Edmonton and the tar sands, but do remember that part of Canada is freakishly cold and dark in winter.
posted by scruss at 8:06 AM on November 7, 2012


If these people feel like their being ignored or disenfranchised by the election of someone they don't agree with how are they going to feel when they live in a country where they have no political say at all?

You can't simply walz into a country another country and become a citizen its a really long process. Until they received citizenship they would have to live in a country where, if they move to Canada or Australia, they disagree with social climate and legally have to say.

To me that makes the argument even more silly. Also I think this is a wonderful time to re-asses whose updates you see on facebook, they don't need to know you don't see them in your feed.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:08 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Best response? "Go ahead -- try to escape. You'll find that (excepting the lucky few with relatives abroad) you'll never get residence, only a tourist visa. Have a nice vacation!"
posted by Rash at 8:08 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Say:

"I know what you mean about Canada. It may be left-wing and cold, and crushed beneath the heel of an oppressive monarchy. But it's not, well, brown."
posted by Segundus at 8:09 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's the best response to these people?
Same way I responded to people who threatened to move when Bush was re-elected: just ignore them. They'll get over it.
posted by BurntHombre at 8:17 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canadian from oh-so-conservative Alberta here. I'm pretty liberal and just moved here, so indeed at the last provincial election I noticed that rural Alberta leans towards pretty conservative. Read up on the Wild Rose Party - a very right-wing party, moreso than our national Conservatives. Their whole campaign felt decidedly American to me. They didn't win, thank god.

But generally the saying goes, American Democrats are more conservative than Canadian conservatives. If they don't like how things are going in the States, they'll hate it up here for sure.
posted by ergo at 8:19 AM on November 7, 2012


>Abortion.

Australia has no federal abortion law and the legality of it depends on a state to state basis. Its only universally legal if the woman's life is in jeopardy. So I guess its a lot like pre Roe vs Wade. Its only American-style legal in one state.

That said, its liberal as fuck all and I would love to live there. I think there's a real Dunning-Kruegar effect with American conservatives. Their ignorance is so deep they believe the lies that the US is a liberal madhouse and that anywhere is better, when in reality we're the most conservative western country.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:32 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I live in Canada, and everybody here that I know at all, or even have a passing aquaintance with, was rooting for Obama. Even the Conservatives I know. So there's that. Also, although we technically have a Conservative government, we don't have a two party system, so it's actually more complex than that. Most people I know aren't too happy with Harper, though. I'm pretty sure Canada's baseline of Conservatism runs closer to the State's baseline of Liberalism.
posted by windykites at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2012


Additional data point: other than on a police officer, I have never seen a gun.
posted by windykites at 8:52 AM on November 7, 2012


Yesterday I semi-jokingly asked a Canadian friend if she had any unmarried middle-aged brothers or cousins interested in marrying me if Rs won. she said no, but that she- a straight woman- would because gay marriage is legal there.
posted by mareli at 8:52 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


@seanmpuckett: The mountains of Pakistan would seem right at home, actually. Guns, religious fervor, no women's rights, male dominated authoritarian culture, it has everything.

I can't tell you how many times I've thought this. They're just arguing about the window-dressings of their respective oppressive patriarchal religion-states. But on second thought maybe they would be better in the UAE...then they could drive their Mercedeses and play golf and polo... Tried to link: MittRomneyStyle!
posted by SinAesthetic at 8:54 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


But it's not, well, brown.

In terms of visible minorities, there would be surprises there. Canada and the US have a similar proportion of European-origin citizens (~80-85%), but the breakdown of the rest is quite different. The largest visible minority in the States is the black population, of course, but there's a roughly similar "Asian" population in Canada. "Asian" is actually a catch all for Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Filipino and other "SE Asian" groups who are all fairly distinct. We also have a large Aboriginal population (in size, third), roughly ten times greater proportionally than that in the US.

The idea of a "latino" population is also pretty unusual in Canada as well. We have Chilean and Mexican populations, but a pan-Spanish "latino" identity is not a construction usually important in Canadian politics.

But none of that really matters, politically: the big cultural divide in Canada is French/Anglo. That's what dominates our politics. Is the PM from Quebec or not? Do they speak French well enough to be electable? That's been the big ethic/racial issue for Canadian politics since before confederation.
posted by bonehead at 9:01 AM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tell them not to even THINK of moving to England. It's crowded, no guns, the current adverts on the side of the buses here are from the Stonewall charity (https://www.stonewall.org.uk/) which state "Some people are gay. Get over it."

There are quite a few Muslims, it's expensive, it has Universal Healthcare, I've met only six Christians in five years (four of which are family by marriage), the visas to move here probably start at $1,500 these days, the taxes are high, sometimes people smoke and drink on the bus, and many of the older, prettier houses are poorly insulated, and the gas/electric bills are very expensive. (I'm writing this sitting in a sleeping bag, wearing a two layers and a Japanese bed jacket and I'm freezing.)

Strangers approach me (American) after they hear me speak telling me that they're glad Obama won. They think that Romney is insane and too posh.

I don't even think they'd get along with Daily Mail crazies because they're anti-immigration.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 9:01 AM on November 7, 2012


Well, if they also adhere to the Republican platform of making it more difficult for "freeloaders" to move to the US, they will be pleased to know that other countries are far ahead of us on that and that believe it or not, Australia and Canada are not going to fight over who gets to let some random disgruntled Americans move in with no steady income or employment.

You can also suggest that they learn French, so they're not Those People who move to a country and expect it to cater to their culture. They should also surrender all their American flags upon entry, and definitely don't take part in any American independence day or other American pride celebrations, because you can't move to another country and be proud of any other backgrounds you have.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:02 AM on November 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Reminds me of the great line from Hotel California:

"You can check out but you can never leave."

This would of course just be to f*ck with their heads.
posted by Leezie at 9:31 AM on November 7, 2012


The best mental response (since you said you don't want to actually say anything) is to realize that these people are even more clueless than you originally thought if they think moving to Canada or Australia would be a more compatible place than the US for fiscally and socially conservative Americans. Then again, if someone denies climate change, is a "birther", doesn't "believe in" evolution, thinks Obama is a Muslim, etc., maybe having absolutely no understanding of those two countries is about what one would already expect.
posted by Dansaman at 9:38 AM on November 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Well, if you speak French, Quebec will be pretty keen to have you."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:47 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the best response to these people is tend and befriend; comfort them, try to assuage their fears, and tell them they'd be missed.
posted by jamjam at 9:50 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want the best hypothetical response to repeat to myself in my inside voice while I read their FB posts.

Perhaps this bit from Hari Kondabolu might help. "Canada doesn't have a special visa for American liberal conservative cowards."
posted by mhum at 10:02 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's very unlikely that any honest-to-God Romney supporters are talking about moving to Canada. I think I have a lot more conservatives on my filters than most MeFites, and I've heard noting whatsoever about this. I have heard some people express that they wanted to leave the country, but no specific targets picked.

However, the logic that I could see behind those choices, if real, is as follows:

Many Romney supporters believe that Obama was elected specifically through an appeal to the "welfare class" (or lumpenproletariat if your views swing that way) that is perceived to be highly prevalent in many American urban centers. They may be afraid that America has now reached a critical mass, where the "takers" outweigh the "makers."

Thus, the impetus behind moving to Canada or Australia would be as follows: neither country has large, widescale problems with urban poverty. Both are English-speaking countries, but without the police-surveillance hyperstate of England itself. It could easily be argued that in both Canada and Australia, "makers" outnumber "takers". Your fiscally conservative friends might well complain about the spending, but they might think the overall climate of the country would be more hospitable.

The thing is, they may honestly not be wrong. It's completely possible that they might be happier in either Australia or Canada (except for the guns, but they may fear that America will become similarly inhospitable.) Both have lower GINI coefficients, which is found to correlate with conservatism. (Conservatives tend to flourish where everyone is making about the same rough middle income)

The real question, though, is what portions of their statements are irritating you? Because only those issues are the ones that are going to make you feel better with whatever internal knowledge you have.
posted by corb at 10:07 AM on November 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


You can always send them a practice version of the Canadian citizenship test to get them warmed up.
posted by modernnomad at 10:13 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just let them know that, when polled, two-thirds of Canadians supported Obama, while 9% supported Romney.
Even in Alberta, a majority supported Obama and only a minority would vote for Romney.

It makes sense for left-wing Americans to want to move to Canada -- it's a very similar culture but with more left-wing politics. For right-wing Americans to move because they think the US will become too left-wing? It's like moving to Greenland because you don't like the cold.

It was meant ironically, right? Please tell me they meant it ironically...

That said, on my twitter feed this morning from a quote from someone who wanted to move to Australia because they thought that Australia had a male, right-wing "president".
posted by jb at 10:15 AM on November 7, 2012


Oh - this is really interesting: " Canadians over the age of 65 were the most likely to support Mr. Obama, with 76 per cent, while young Canadians were less likely to have a preference."

Is that the opposite of the USA? What happened in Canadian history to make Canadian seniors more left-wing than younger people?
posted by jb at 10:17 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm pretty sure those countries have really tough immigration policies, much tougher than the US's, actually. You should probably start talking with a good immigration lawyer before making any plans. Best of luck to you on whatever you decide to do!"
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:03 AM on November 7, 2012


[Folks, this needs to not spiral out into general chat/commentary territory.]
posted by cortex at 11:10 AM on November 7, 2012


On a more serious and non chatfilter note, the website of CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) has information on the steps necessary to become a permanent resident. You can't just show up at the Canadian border with a car full of your worldly possessions, it's not like moving from one US state to another. You have to apply in a specific category and get accepted...
posted by thewalrus at 11:31 AM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that the opposite of the USA? What happened in Canadian history to make Canadian seniors more left-wing than younger people?


You maybe interpreting the results incorrectly. Younger Canadians typically poll to the left of older Canadians, so given that Obama is already relatively right-wing by our standards, that may be the explanation of a lack of enthusiasm for him amongst youth.
posted by modernnomad at 11:40 AM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Things to say in the privacy of your head....

Goodbye!
Can I help you pack?
Write when you get work!
Can I have your _____ before you go?
Are you sure they'd even let you in?
posted by easily confused at 12:27 PM on November 7, 2012


Maybe suggest South Africa. Not a place that's functioning particularly well, but you with a straight face can recommend its social conservatism, strong Christianity, English speaking, forceful (and failing) rule of law and a developed economy (assuming you're rich already).

Of course, there are plenty of reasons that they'd not want to live there, but you can make a convincing case to innocently be suggesting somewhere that fits with their stated requirements. If they have to mention race or lack of social support or gun violence, then surely that's a nice Socratic way to say "Oh, so you are grateful for the US government, then?".
posted by ambrosen at 1:02 PM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


PLEASE post this image on their walls. Please. full image here
posted by smoke at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


You should encourage them to do so, they might learn something.
posted by Good Brain at 1:47 PM on November 7, 2012


Yeah, "moving to another country" isn't as simple as rocking up to immigration and announcing, "Hello, I'm here to stay." It is to laugh. Plus, the dropbears will get them!
posted by thylacinthine at 2:00 PM on November 7, 2012


If they don't like Obama, do they think they'll like Gillard more? Um, that video makes me think not.
posted by Dansaman at 3:08 PM on November 7, 2012


"Interesting idea. I hear it's beautiful there. Say, I hear there's cake in the break room! I'm just going to go get a piece."
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:24 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australian here! Our immigration laws are not particularly easy to work with, even when it's a married couple, so there's that as well as the following.

Fiscally conservative: probably not; we are headed to a teensy surplus in our budget but it's being eroded by a whole lot of stuff and while there have been cuts made to certain parts of welfare, we're adding dental care and hopefully a disability scheme to our public health care system.

Socially conservative: in some areas yes, but mostly not. There are conservatives around but it is not the same level of wilful ignorance about science, social programs or medicine. Our police/judges/whatnot are not elected by the public, they're promoted through what one hopes is merit but also politics I assume. Shaping policy is done through contacting/voting for politicians, rarely voting on specific laws and rarely voting for a specific person to change a law or enforcement of a law. I don't really understand how it works for that sort of thing in the US though. Depending on area there may or may not be a large non-white population (primarily Asian) and that usually correlates with socio-economic factors which affects the public schooling as well leading to

Kids: we support homeschooling to a certain extent, and depending on the state and personal preference school starts somewhere between 3.5 and 6 and is 'free' (still some fees, most have uniforms and texts to buy, and school supplies). Schools are zoned for enrolment and there is correlation between low socio-economic areas and low performing schools but there are moves to try and ameliorate that effect and there is government funding for new buildings, help for disadvantaged students, extra classroom help and things like that. A few conservative teachers push through creationism/anti-abortion stuff but it is shut down when it comes to light and is not supported by the curriculum. The school system has state/national curriculum, not county and not boards.

Health: if you can get a medicare card, you're set. There are some costs depending on your finances (gap payments - rarely over $50 depending on treatment/specialist) and emergency room treatment is free. You have the option to have private healthcare which costs $250+ a month and you do have to pay extra with stuff as well but it's private hospitals, you pick the specialist and private rooms and stuff. So far my experience with both has been similar.

NRA: nope. Just nope. We have pretty severe gun control, like others have said I've only ever seen a gun when I've seen cops. There are more guns out in rural areas (obviously) and in certain professions (farmer, registered hunters, the people who cull wild animals).
posted by geek anachronism at 3:28 PM on November 7, 2012


You can also suggest that they learn French, so they're not Those People who move to a country and expect it to cater to their culture. They should also surrender all their American flags upon entry, and definitely don't take part in any American independence day or other American pride celebrations, because you can't move to another country and be proud of any other backgrounds you have.

There a many unilingual anglophones and francophones in Canada. It's not a problem. That's why the Federal government is a bilingual institution. Lack of french would only really be an issue in Quebec.

Your friends would be welcome to celebrate their national holidays here. We're a multicultural nation. Many people celebrate Canada day as well as another national holiday.

Having said that, I agree with all the posters above that your friends would not find a society or a political culture that is more to their liking here. Though in any town they would be able to find a conservative Christian church/community to their liking.

If they did go through the process of becoming permanent residents, they could expect to have that major health issue taken care of by provincial health insurance. However, health issues can sometimes disqualify a person for residency for this very reason.
posted by beau jackson at 3:46 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll just leave this here..
posted by Wantok at 4:40 PM on November 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canada [...] a low black population.

They'd love Montreal. A lot of OUR black people speak French!
posted by zadcat at 4:57 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


You might want to say that two openly gay politicians, MPP Kathleen Wynne and MPP Glen Murray are vying for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. It's not a big deal, either.
posted by Lescha at 5:07 PM on November 7, 2012


Give them a pat on the back and say something nice to them because their team just lost. Pretend it's a super bowl party, their favored team lost and you want to be a good sport. Tell them Mitt Romney seems like a really nice guy and you liked his gray streaks and the way he said "golly" all the time. They're not really going to move to Canada or Australia. They will get over it.

And your favored policies will get put in place, so... win win?
posted by mermily at 5:20 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australian here. We generally take free healthcare, gun control, access to contraception and abortion etc as basic human rights. Assuming your friends managed to run the gauntlet of immigration and actually get into the country, I think they would find their views about limiting these rights in their new home pretty unpopular. Not only would they not enjoy it here, I don't think they'd make too many friends if they're pretty outspoken on these issues. I mean, I sure there are Aussies out there who don't believe in universal healthcare but I've yet to meet one.
posted by Jubey at 7:32 PM on November 7, 2012


Is that the opposite of the USA? What happened in Canadian history to make Canadian seniors more left-wing than younger people?


You maybe interpreting the results incorrectly. Younger Canadians typically poll to the left of older Canadians, so given that Obama is already relatively right-wing by our standards, that may be the explanation of a lack of enthusiasm for him amongst youth.


Modernnomad's suggestion is definitely a good one.

Another possibility (and it's just that, I have nothing but a hunch): someone who is 65 was born in 1947. Saskatchewan passed their health care act when they were a fetus. They were 19 when the Medical Care Act passed. Essentially, their politically formative years were right when all of the universal health care came in.

Obamacare probably sounds good to them, and they don't consider it such a ubiquitous/unquestionable thing that my generation does (which is why Obama gets credit for it but not much enthusiasm.)
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:00 PM on November 7, 2012


> Australia has no federal abortion law and the legality of it depends on a state to state basis. Its only universally legal if the woman's life is in jeopardy. So I guess its a lot like pre Roe vs Wade.

No, this isn't right.

Australia does legislate abortion on a state-by-state basis, and different states have different laws, but the laws are interpreted very liberally. I've never heard of somebody in Australia being denied an early-term abortion on legal grounds. The Wikipedia article you linked to contains these paragraphs, which strike me as an accurate take on the situation:
Generally, judicial interpretations changed in the late 1960s and early 1970s such that abortions were not subject to criminal prosecution if necessary to preserve the mother's health. Over time this has come to be broadly defined so as to include the mental health of the patient, to which an unwanted pregnancy is interpreted as clinically injurious.

In practice, early-term surgical abortions are generally available around Australia for those women who seek them.
Abortion is such a small issue here politically that when the moderator asked the two candidates about their views on it during a Prime Ministerial debate about a decade ago, both looked very surprised and then fumbled through answers that basically said, "Of course nobody wants more abortions but we wouldn't seek to change the laws."

Australia's not as liberal as I would like in some regards (marriage equality is a prime example), but it's pretty good when it comes to protecting a women's right to control her own body.
posted by Georgina at 8:08 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your best response: "The irony would kill me."
posted by violetk at 8:21 PM on November 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


young Canadians were less likely to have a preference...

This is because young Canadians are less likely to be concerned/involved in politics. Especially someone else's politics. Plus, honestly, that Romney guy is so unreal, he just seems like a performer, a distraction, a nutty foil to Obama's straight man act. It's hard to take him seriously. Like, if he'd won, personally I would have rolled my eyes, said "Americans are weird", or "well, this should be interesting", and tried not to think/ get stressed about it. So it's really indifference/boredom/apathy rather than being right-leaning in many cases, I'd guess.
posted by windykites at 6:45 PM on November 10, 2012


young Canadians are less likely to be concerned/involved in politics

Ha. Come to Quebec and say that.
posted by zadcat at 9:21 PM on November 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


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